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Introduced Version Senate Bill 663 History

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Senate Bill No. 663

(By Senators Hunter and Weeks)

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[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §3-9-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the Secretary of State appointing trained volunteer observers of differing party and nonparty political affiliations to observe in the various county courthouse election activities beginning on election day and until all votes are counted and unofficial returns are posted.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-9-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
§3-9-6. Unauthorized presence in election room; three-hundred-foot limit; penalties; volunteer observers in county courthouses.

If any person, not herein authorized so to do, enters or attempts to enter the election room, except upon a lawful errand and for a proper purpose, or remains within three hundred feet of the outside entrance to the building housing the polling place, contrary to the provisions of this chapter, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or confined in the county jail for not more than thirty days.
Excepting those individuals provided for expressly in this or other sections of the code, only full-time employees of the Secretary of State's office or full-time employees of the respective county offices of the county clerk or the county prosecutor may enter or otherwise disturb the polling place: Provided, That the Secretary of State may appoint clearly identifiable teams of at least two, but no more than three volunteer election observers, each of differing party and nonparty political affiliations, who are eligible to vote in West Virginia, and who have completed required training presented by the Secretary of State's office, to observe with full access, all election activities at the county or municipal central counting centers beginning on election day until all votes are counted and unofficial returns are posted. The Secretary of State's office shall pay volunteers for documented travel and one night lodging expenses when necessary: Provided, however, That no volunteer observers may serve in their own or an adjacent county. Nothing in this section may be construed to permit domestic or international observers, in the polling place.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide the Secretary of State the authority to place teams of three trained observers, each of differing party and nonparty political affiliations, in the county central counting centers beginning on election day.

Strike-throughs indicate language which would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language which would be added.
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